Gary Soto recalls a time when he was six years old and stole an apple pie. Soto s use of contrast, diction and imagery breathe life into his work and give a unique perspective into the mind and motive of a guilty six year old. In Soto s work, a reader is impressed by the vast amount of vivid contrasts to illustrate a point, not only from a child s view but also from a religious one, too. Soto s first sentence is, I knew enough about hell to stop me from stealing.
I was holy in almost every bone. Interestingly, Soto mentions the negative first ;he knows he does not want to go to hell so for that very reason and that reason alone -he wants to abstain from stealing. The weakness of this is that a person or child cannot be lectured by his mother about morals and be expected to instantly adopt them. No, all that Soto has is an empty shell that contains no substance and will crumble under the slightest amount of pressure.
Furthermore, Soto remarks that there were nine different kinds of pie at the shop, Pecan and apple being my favorite, although cherry looked good, and my dear fat-faced chocolate was always a good bet. This sentence must be considered on a religious standpoint ;one can compare the different types of pie to sins, all different and all good looking, but they are still the same deep down. Also, remember that Soto said he was holy in almost every bone.
He was somewhat of an innocent child. But, just as Eve consciously took the apple from the tree of knowledge and committed the first sin, Gary Soto is standing before the same tree debating a decision he had already made. When Soto is eating his pie he describes it as, The slop was sweet and gold-colored in the afternoon sun when I was finished I felt like crying because it was the best thing I had ever tasted. Once more an analogy can be draw to the tree of knowledge from the Bible.
When Soto ate the pie it was like Eve eating the apple, but as soon as the deed was committed both people instantly knew the bad along with the good. Just as Soto knew it was the best tasting morsel he had ever had, but it would also be the foulest thing for his conscience. To complement Soto s writing there is well chosen diction, which causes the words to jump out to highlight the theme, and give the reader a good idea about what is occurring.
Soto illustrates how much he wants the pie showing us how good it seemed to him, my sweet tooth gleaming the juice of guilt wetting my underarms It s obvious that Soto wants the pie, my sweet tooth gleaming conveys a sense of someone looking through a windows at pastries, smelling them and drooling over them. Soto then shows us how much he wants the pie ;he is practically sweating over it. Finally one can see how Soto s perception of reality is altered -all he wants is that pie at any price.